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Ezekiel 16

English: King James Version         

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1 Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

2 Son of man, cause Jerusalem to know her abominations,

3 And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto Jerusalem; Thy birth and thy nativity is of the land of Canaan; thy father was an Amorite, and thy mother an Hittite.

4 And as for thy nativity, in the day thou wast born thy navel was not cut, neither wast thou washed in water to supple thee; thou wast not salted at all, nor swaddled at all.

5 None eye pitied thee, to do any of these unto thee, to have compassion upon thee; but thou wast cast out in the open field, to the lothing of thy person, in the day that thou wast born.

6 And when I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own blood, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live; yea, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live.

7 I have caused thee to multiply as the bud of the field, and thou hast increased and waxen great, and thou art come to excellent ornaments: thy breasts are fashioned, and thine hair is grown, whereas thou wast naked and bare.

8 Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love; and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness: yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord GOD, and thou becamest mine.

9 Then washed I thee with water; yea, I throughly washed away thy blood from thee, and I anointed thee with oil.

10 I clothed thee also with broidered work, and shod thee with badgers' skin, and I girded thee about with fine linen, and I covered thee with silk.

11 I decked thee also with ornaments, and I put bracelets upon thy hands, and a chain on thy neck.

12 And I put a jewel on thy forehead, and earrings in thine ears, and a beautiful crown upon thine head.

13 Thus wast thou decked with gold and silver; and thy raiment was of fine linen, and silk, and broidered work; thou didst eat fine flour, and honey, and oil: and thou wast exceeding beautiful, and thou didst prosper into a kingdom.

14 And thy renown went forth among the heathen for thy beauty: for it was perfect through my comeliness, which I had put upon thee, saith the Lord GOD.

15 But thou didst trust in thine own beauty, and playedst the harlot because of thy renown, and pouredst out thy fornications on every one that passed by; his it was.

16 And of thy garments thou didst take, and deckedst thy high places with divers colours, and playedst the harlot thereupon: the like things shall not come, neither shall it be so.

17 Thou hast also taken thy fair jewels of my gold and of my silver, which I had given thee, and madest to thyself images of men, and didst commit whoredom with them,

18 And tookest thy broidered garments, and coveredst them: and thou hast set mine oil and mine incense before them.

19 My meat also which I gave thee, fine flour, and oil, and honey, wherewith I fed thee, thou hast even set it before them for a sweet savour: and thus it was, saith the Lord GOD.

20 Moreover thou hast taken thy sons and thy daughters, whom thou hast borne unto me, and these hast thou sacrificed unto them to be devoured. Is this of thy whoredoms a small matter,

21 That thou hast slain my children, and delivered them to cause them to pass through the fire for them?

22 And in all thine abominations and thy whoredoms thou hast not remembered the days of thy youth, when thou wast naked and bare, and wast polluted in thy blood.

23 And it came to pass after all thy wickedness, (woe, woe unto thee! saith the Lord GOD;)

24 That thou hast also built unto thee an eminent place, and hast made thee an high place in every street.

25 Thou hast built thy high place at every head of the way, and hast made thy beauty to be abhorred, and hast opened thy feet to every one that passed by, and multiplied thy whoredoms.

26 Thou hast also committed fornication with the Egyptians thy neighbours, great of flesh; and hast increased thy whoredoms, to provoke me to anger.

27 Behold, therefore I have stretched out my hand over thee, and have diminished thine ordinary food, and delivered thee unto the will of them that hate thee, the daughters of the Philistines, which are ashamed of thy lewd way.

28 Thou hast played the whore also with the Assyrians, because thou wast unsatiable; yea, thou hast played the harlot with them, and yet couldest not be satisfied.

29 Thou hast moreover multiplied thy fornication in the land of Canaan unto Chaldea; and yet thou wast not satisfied herewith.

30 How weak is thine heart, saith the Lord GOD, seeing thou doest all these things, the work of an imperious whorish woman;

31 In that thou buildest thine eminent place in the head of every way, and makest thine high place in every street; and hast not been as an harlot, in that thou scornest hire;

32 But as a wife that committeth adultery, which taketh strangers instead of her husband!

33 They give gifts to all whores: but thou givest thy gifts to all thy lovers, and hirest them, that they may come unto thee on every side for thy whoredom.

34 And the contrary is in thee from other women in thy whoredoms, whereas none followeth thee to commit whoredoms: and in that thou givest a reward, and no reward is given unto thee, therefore thou art contrary.

35 Wherefore, O harlot, hear the word of the LORD:

36 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thy filthiness was poured out, and thy nakedness discovered through thy whoredoms with thy lovers, and with all the idols of thy abominations, and by the blood of thy children, which thou didst give unto them;

37 Behold, therefore I will gather all thy lovers, with whom thou hast taken pleasure, and all them that thou hast loved, with all them that thou hast hated; I will even gather them round about against thee, and will discover thy nakedness unto them, that they may see all thy nakedness.

38 And I will judge thee, as women that break wedlock and shed blood are judged; and I will give thee blood in fury and jealousy.

39 And I will also give thee into their hand, and they shall throw down thine eminent place, and shall break down thy high places: they shall strip thee also of thy clothes, and shall take thy fair jewels, and leave thee naked and bare.

40 They shall also bring up a company against thee, and they shall stone thee with stones, and thrust thee through with their swords.

41 And they shall burn thine houses with fire, and execute judgments upon thee in the sight of many women: and I will cause thee to cease from playing the harlot, and thou also shalt give no hire any more.

42 So will I make my fury toward thee to rest, and my jealousy shall depart from thee, and I will be quiet, and will be no more angry.

43 Because thou hast not remembered the days of thy youth, but hast fretted me in all these things; behold, therefore I also will recompense thy way upon thine head, saith the Lord GOD: and thou shalt not commit this lewdness above all thine abominations.

44 Behold, every one that useth proverbs shall use this proverb against thee, saying, As is the mother, so is her daughter.

45 Thou art thy mother's daughter, that lotheth her husband and her children; and thou art the sister of thy sisters, which lothed their husbands and their children: your mother was an Hittite, and your father an Amorite.

46 And thine elder sister is Samaria, she and her daughters that dwell at thy left hand: and thy younger sister, that dwelleth at thy right hand, is Sodom and her daughters.

47 Yet hast thou not walked after their ways, nor done after their abominations: but, as if that were a very little thing, thou wast corrupted more than they in all thy ways.

48 As I live, saith the Lord GOD, Sodom thy sister hath not done, she nor her daughters, as thou hast done, thou and thy daughters.

49 Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.

50 And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good.

51 Neither hath Samaria committed half of thy sins; but thou hast multiplied thine abominations more than they, and hast justified thy sisters in all thine abominations which thou hast done.

52 Thou also, which hast judged thy sisters, bear thine own shame for thy sins that thou hast committed more abominable than they: they are more righteous than thou: yea, be thou confounded also, and bear thy shame, in that thou hast justified thy sisters.

53 When I shall bring again their captivity, the captivity of Sodom and her daughters, and the captivity of Samaria and her daughters, then will I bring again the captivity of thy captives in the midst of them:

54 That thou mayest bear thine own shame, and mayest be confounded in all that thou hast done, in that thou art a comfort unto them.

55 When thy sisters, Sodom and her daughters, shall return to their former estate, and Samaria and her daughters shall return to their former estate, then thou and thy daughters shall return to your former estate.

56 For thy sister Sodom was not mentioned by thy mouth in the day of thy pride,

57 Before thy wickedness was discovered, as at the time of thy reproach of the daughters of Syria, and all that are round about her, the daughters of the Philistines, which despise thee round about.

58 Thou hast borne thy lewdness and thine abominations, saith the LORD.

59 For thus saith the Lord GOD; I will even deal with thee as thou hast done, which hast despised the oath in breaking the covenant.

60 Nevertheless I will remember my covenant with thee in the days of thy youth, and I will establish unto thee an everlasting covenant.

61 Then thou shalt remember thy ways, and be ashamed, when thou shalt receive thy sisters, thine elder and thy younger: and I will give them unto thee for daughters, but not by thy covenant.

62 And I will establish my covenant with thee; and thou shalt know that I am the LORD:

63 That thou mayest remember, and be confounded, and never open thy mouth any more because of thy shame, when I am pacified toward thee for all that thou hast done, saith the Lord GOD.

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From Swedenborg's Works

Belangrijkste verklaring(en) van Swedenborgs werken:

Apocalypse Explained 1029

Apocalypse Revealed 350, 880

A Brief Exposition of New Church Doctrine 100

Doctrine of the Lord 64

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 139

Andere referenties door Swedenborg op dit hoofdstuk:

Arcana Coelestia 93, 213, 289, 297, 374, 622, 666, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 134, 166, 189, 209, 213, 216, 245, ...

Conjugial Love 119

Doctrine of the Lord 28

Doctrine of Life 79

Heaven and Hell 180

True Christian Religion 306, 314, 583, 782

References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 126, 141, 195, 238, 240, 242, 272, ...

Spiritual Experiences 246, 5160

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Word/Phrase Explanations

the Word
In general, we tend to be very aware of how knowing what's true leads to doing what is good. That starts as children, with parents...

'Word,' as in Psalms 119:6-17, stands for doctrine in general. 'The Word,' as in Psalms 147:18, signifies divine good united with divine truth. 'Word,' as...

the Lord
The Bible refers to the Lord in many different ways, which from the text seem indistinguishable and interchangeable. Understood in the internal sense, though, there...

The Lord, in the simplest terms, is love itself expressed as wisdom itself. In philosophic terms, love is the Lord's substance and wisdom is His...

son of man
The Lord, in some places, calls Himself 'the son of God,' at other times, 'the son of man (ἄνθρωπος).' This is always according to the...

'A son,' as in Genesis 5:28, signifies the rise of a new church. 'Son,' as in Genesis 24:3, signifies the Lord’s rationality regarding good. 'A...

Jerusalem first comes to or attention in II Samuel, chapter 5 where King David takes it from the Jebusites and makes it his capital. In...

In a general sense, men represent things of the intellect – facts, ideas, knowledge, everything from the deepest truths to the most pernicious falsities about...

As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

'Nativity,' as in Genesis 10:32, signifies reformation. Out of thy nativity and out of thy father's house,' as in Genesis 12:1, signifies corporeal and worldly...

Land of Canaan
The land of Canaan' in the Word, means love, and consequently, the will of the celestial self.

'Lands' of different nations are used in the Word to signify the different kinds of love prevalent in the inhabitants.

Father, son, mother, and daughter, as in Luke 12:51, 53: By father against son, and by son against the father, is understood evil against truth,...

'A Hittite' in a good sense, signifies the spiritual church, or the truth of the church. The Hittites were among the upright Gentiles who were...

In a general sense, being "born" in the Bible represents one spiritual state producing another, usually some form of love or affection producing or "giving...

It does not take a great leap of imagination to see that “washing” in the Bible represents purification. Washing dirt from the skin is symbolic...

'Waters' signify truths in the natural self, and in the opposite sense, falsities. 'Waters' signify particularly the spiritual parts of a person, or the intellectual...

'No one,' or 'none' denotes the negative side of something.

It’s common to say “I see” when we understand something. And indeed, “seeing” in the Bible represents grasping and understanding spiritual things. So it makes...

When we have a desire to be good people and to do good things, the natural first questions are "What does that mean?" "What should...

'To pass,' as in Genesis 31:52, signifies flowing in. 'To pass the night,' as in Genesis 24:54, signifies having peace. 'To pass through,' as in...

To look,' as in Genesis 18:22, signifies thinking, because seeing denotes understanding. Look not back behind thee,' as in Genesis 19:17, means that Lot, who...

Bloods signify evil, in Ezek. 16:9.

‘To grow’ signifies to be perfected.

'Spreading themselves on the earth,' as in Genesis 8:17, signifies the internal self operating on the external.

Coming (Gen. 41:14) denotes communication by influx.

The breast (Ezek. 16:7), signifies natural good.

The hair is the very outermost part of the body, and "hair" in the Bible represents the outermost expression of whatever the body represents. In...

'Unclothed' signifies being deprived of the truths of faith.

Time is an aspect of the physical world, but according to Swedenborg is not an aspect of the spiritual world. The same is true of...

The "high mountains being covered " (Gen. 7:19) signifies that all the good things of charity were extin­guished.

The Lord swearing by himself signifies that divine truth testifies, for He is divine truth itself, and this testifies from itself and means itself. It...

All changes of place in the Bible represent changes in spiritual state. “Entering” – usually used as entering someone’s house or “going in unto” someone...

In Revelation 18:13, 'wine, oil, flour, and wheat' signify celestial principles of worship.

The instruction not make clothing that mixes 'Woolen and linen' threads means, in the internal sense, that people's spiritual states of good and truth should...

'Silk' signifies intermediate celestial good and truth. It means good because it is soft, and truth because it shines. 'Silk,' like 'fine linen,' denotes genuine...

Bracelets (Gen. 25:22) signify truth, and in this passage divine truth, because the Lord is treated of.

'To put' has reference to order, arrangement, application, and influx.

Scientists believe that one of the most crucial developments in the evolution of humans was bipedalism – walking on two legs. That left our hands...

The head is the part of us that is highest, which means in a representative sense that it is what is closest to the Lord....

'Money' relates to truth.

'Silver,' in the internal sense of the Word, signifies truth, but also falsity. 'Silver' means the truth of faith, or the truth acquired from selfhood,...

When we eat, our bodies break down the food and get from it both energy and materials for building and repairing the body. The process...

Fine flour
Fine flour, as in Ezekiel 16:19, signifies the spiritual principle of charity.

'Honey' signifies the delight derived from good and truth or from the affection thereof, and specifically the external delight. Thus it signifies the delight of...

'To be made to prosper' signifies being provided for. Which is why 'Jehovah made it prosper in his hand' means Divine Providence. 

'The time of the heathen,' as mentioned in Ezekiel 30:3, signifies the heathen, or wickedness.

Beauty of his ornament (Ezek. 7:20) signifies the church and its doctrine.

'A harlot' signifies the affection of falsities, thus the church corrupted.

Every one
The phrase “Every one,” where it occurs in Genesis 20:7, signifies every thing or all things.

Soft raiment,' as in Matthew 11:9, represents the internal sense of the Word.

'Height' signifies what is inward, and also heaven.

Jewels' when applied to the ears, signify good in act.

Images of men
'Images of men,' as in Ezekiel 16:17, signify appearances of truth, which are nevertheless falsities.

'Images' denote things fashioned from man’s own intelligence.

'Incense' or 'odors' signify worship and confession of the Lord, from spiritual goods and truths.

In most cases, the meaning of "before" is pretty straightforward, both as a way of assessing relative time, and in its use meaning "in someone's...

'Provision' or 'meat,' as in Genesis 42:25 and Psalm 78:25, signifies support from truth and good.

Sweet' signifies delightful things from the good of truth and the truth of good. Everything sweet in the natural world corresponds to delightful and pleasant...

'Sons of the stranger' signify counterfeit truths, or falsities. 'Our sons' signify the doctrines of truth, and 'our daughters,' the doctrines of good, as in...

"Behold I have two daughters,” etc. (Gen. 19:8), signifies the affections of good and truth, and the blessedness perceivable from the enjoyment thereof, by those...

A child is a young boy or girl in the care of parents, older than a suckling or an infant, but not yet an adolescent....

The expression 'even to this day' or 'today' sometimes appears in the Word, as in Genesis 19:37-38, 22:14, 26:33, 32:32, 35:20, and 47:26. In a...

'Tender of age' denotes the state of truths newly received not yet genuine.

Behind, or after, (Gen. 16:13), signifies within or above, or an interior or superior principle.

'Wickedness' signifies evil, and 'iniquity' signifies falsities.

wrought (also entwined or entwisted) is predicated of the natural scientific principle, and in Isaiah 45:13, of divine natural truth.

Swedenborg tell us that in terms of measurement, height relates to the desire for good and breadth relates to the knowledge of truth. Following that,...

In John 14:6, 'the way is doctrine,' 'the truth' is every thing pertaining to doctrine, and 'the life' is the essential good which is the...

To open,' as in Revelation 9, signifies communication and conjunction.

The foot, as in Deuteronomy 33:3, signifies an inferior principle. To set the right foot on the sea and the left on the earth, as...

'And [Tyre] shall turn to her hire, and shall commit fornication,' as in Isaiah 23:17, signifies the vaunting and boasting of falsity.

Egyptians represent those who are in natural science, thus the natural, but the Hebrews, those who are of the church, thus respectively the spiritual. The...

Flesh has several meanings just in its most obvious form. It can mean all living creatures as when the Lord talks about the flood "destroying...

stretched out
The hand in the Bible represents power, which is easy to understand, so to reach out or stretch out the hand means to exercise power,...

In Genesis 27:22, 'voice' relates to truth, and 'hand,' to good.

To give food, as in Genesis 41:48, signifies to store up.

the daughters of
The daughters of Rabbah' signify people who are in natural good and falsify the truths of the church.

The Philistines play a large role in the Bible as one of the longest-standing and most bitter rivals of the people of Israel, clashing with...

On a natural level, there are a variety of things that can cause shame. We might be ashamed of physical weakness or ugliness; we might...

'What satisfies' is what nourishes the soul.

Canaan signifies a worship in things external without internals, which arose out of the internal church corrupted, called Ham. Thus it is that Ham is...

Chaldea was a land lying along the Euphrates river near its mouth, south of Babylon, part of what is now southern Iraq. It was a...

'Works,' as in Genesis 46:33, denote goods, because they are from the will, and anything from the will is either good or evil, but anything...

'Women,' as in Genesis 45:19, signify the affections of truth. But in Genesis 31:50, 'women' signify affections of not genuine truth, so not of the...

It is because of a celestial and angelic proprium, or selfhood, that the church is called 'a woman,' 'a wife,' 'a bride,' 'a virgin,' and...

In general, men are driven by intellect and women by affections, and because of this men in the Bible generally represent knowledge and truth and...

Like other common verbs, the meaning of "give" in the Bible is affected by context: who is giving what to whom? In general, though, giving...

To some degree, there really is no spiritual meaning to the word “love” in the Bible. Why? Because if you truly love another, that is...

'Side' signifies good or spiritual love.

The word "woman" is used a number of different ways in the Bible – as a simple description, as someone connected to a man ("his...

'To hearken to father and mother,' as mentioned in Genesis 28:7, signifies obedience from affection. 'To hearken,' as mentioned in Genesis 30:22, signifies providence. See...

Idols of stone signify worship from falsities of doctrine. Idols of wood signify worship from evils of doctrine. Idols of silver signify worship from what...

If you truly hate someone, that means you would kill them and destroy their reputation if you could do so without repercussion – not a...

Round about
'Round about' denotes the things most distant from the middle, or from good and truth.

It’s easy to see the connection between judging and truth. In a court of law, the judge’s whole purpose is to find the truth. In...

Fury is a receding from good, and anger is a receding from truth.

As in Micah 1:8, 'to be stripped' signifies being without goods, and 'to be naked' signifies being without truths.

'To rend the garments' signifies mourning for truth lost or destroyed, or the loss of faith.

A congregation is a group of people with common loves, interests, and purposes. It often refers to a church group. In the Word it is...

Stones in the Bible in general represent truths, or things we know concerning the Lord and what He wants from us and for us in...

A 'sword,' in the Word, signifies the truth of faith combating and the vastation of truth. In an opposite sense, it signifies falsity combating and...

A "house" is essentially a container - for a person, for a family, for several families or even for a large group with shared interests...

Just as natural fire can be both comforting in keeping you warm or scary in burning down your house, so fire in the spiritual sense...

The symbolic meaning of "seeing" is "understanding," which is obvious enough that it has become part of common language (think about it; you might see...

Intellectual things – ideas, knowledge, facts, even insight and understanding – are more separate and free-standing than emotional things, and it’s easier to imagine numbering...

When something is described as quiet, still or calm in the Bible, it represents the state of peace that comes with being aligned with the...

Anger is an emotion so common to people that it requires no definition. However a couple of points of interest can be raised. 1) The...

In general, mothers in the Bible represent the Lord's church on earth, or the church among those who know and follow the Lord. In some...

The Lord calls people who are in truth from the good of charity from Him 'sisters,' as in Matthew 12:50. 'Sister' denotes intellectual truth, when...

In general, things that are “elder” in the Bible represent spiritual states that come before others. For example, of the two sisters Jacob married, Leah...

'The woman of Samaria' signifies the church which would be founded among the Gentiles.

Many people were nomadic in Biblical times, especially the times of the Old Testament, and lived in tents that could be struck, moved and re-raised...

Left hand
'The left hand' in a negative sense signifies falsity which is used to produce evil.

In general, birth order in the Bible reflects the progression of spiritual states, but the specifics of those states depends greatly on context: who the...

'Inhabit' refers to good.

Right hand
'The man of the right hand,' as in Psalm 80:17, signifies the Lord with respect to the Word. He is called 'the man of the...

'Sodom' signifies the evil of self-love, and 'Gomorrah,' the falsity derived from it.

To walk in the Bible represents living, and usually means living according to the true things taught to us by the Lord -- to "walk...

'To set a way,' as in Genesis 30:36, signifies being separated.

In Isaiah 59:6, 'webs' and 'garments' signify aspects of the understanding, or thought, 'Iniquity' and 'violence,' aspects of the will, or works.

'Pride' signifies the love of self.

Just as natural food feeds the natural body, so spiritual food feeds the spiritual body. And since our spiritual body is the expression of what...

The poor, maimed, lame, and blind,' as in Luke 14:21, signify the uninstructed Gentiles who were in lives of good.

'Poor' signifies someone who is not in truths, and people who are ignorant of good and truth, but desire instruction.

Half and double in reference to numbers in the world have a similar signification as the numbers themselves.

In the Word three terms are used to mean bad things that are done. These three are transgression, iniquity, and sin, and they are here...

Like many verbs, the spiritual meaning of "bearing" something depends greatly on context – what it is that's being borne, and why. It is further...

In many cases, the spiritual meaning of "own," both as a verb and as an adjective, is relatively literal. When people are described as the...

To be ashamed (Gen 2:25) signifies to be in evil

'To justify,' as in Isaiah 5:3, 11, signifies saving by means of divine good.

Captivity and spoil (Daniel 11:33) signifies the deprivation of every truth and good.

'Middle' denotes what is primary, principal, or inmost.

When the Bible talks about someone being comforted or consoled, it generally means that they are being offered ideas that will help bring them to...

Everyone knows the phrase "the natural order of things." It means that everything is in its proper place, occupying the niche it is meant to...

and Samaria
The fourscore men who came from Schechem, Shiloh, and Samaria, as in Jeremiah 41:5, represented the profanations of good and truth.

In most cases, "mouth" in the Bible represents thought and logic, especially the kind of active, concrete thought that is connected with speech. The reason...

day of
'Day of vengeance' signifies a state of damnation.

To revile something – or "reproach," as it is often translated – represents making a direct and deliberate attack on what is spiritually true, in...

'Syria,' as in Ezekiel 27:16, signifies the church regarding knowledges of truth and good.

We tend to think of "despising" something or someone as just a strong way of expressing dislike, but there is a further shade of meaning...

An oath' or 'swearing' signifies confirmation and conjunction.

'To remember,' as in Genesis 41:9, signifies conjunction. 'Remembering' denotes conjunction because the remembrance of anyone in the other life joins them together, because as...

'Perpetual' in the literal sense, means to the end of one’s life, after death, and eternity.

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475. And have washed their robes, signifies the removal of falsities by means of temptations. This is evident from the signification of "to wash," as being to purify from falsities and evils, consequently to remove them; for the evils and falsities that are with man, spirit, and angel, are not taken away, but are removed, and when they have been removed the appearance is that they have been taken away (respecting this see in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem 166, 170) thence "to wash" signifies to remove falsities, and thus to purify. Also from the signification of "robes," as being protecting truths in general (of which above, n. 395; but "robes" here, before they have been washed and made white, signify falsities from which they have [not yet] been purified; for those who are in falsities from ignorance appear in the spiritual world at first in dusky garments of diverse colors, and while they are in temptations in filthy garments; but when they come out of temptations they appear in white robes, glistening according to their purification from falsities. Each one in the other life appears in garments according to the truths and according to the falsities that are with him; 1 this is why "garments" signify truths, and in the contrary sense falsities (see above, n. 195, 271). From this the signification of "they have washed their robes and have made them white" can be seen.

(Referenties: Revelation 7:14; The Apocalypse Explained 195, 271, 395)

[2] In ancient times, when all the externals of the church were representative and significative of things spiritual and celestial, washings were made use of, and they represented purifications from falsities and evils; "washings" had this signification because "waters" signified truths, and "filth" falsities and evils, and all purification from falsities and evils is effected by truths (that "waters" signify truths see above, n. 71). This is why washings were instituted with the sons of Israel by command; for with them there was a representative church, all things of which were significative of things spiritual, and "washings" signified purifications from falsities and evils, and thence regeneration. For this purpose:

A laver of brass was placed at the entrance of the tent of meeting (Exodus 30:18-20);

Also lavers of brass were placed outside of the temple, one great laver which was called the sea of brass, and ten smaller ones (1 Kings 7:23-39).

(Referenties: The Apocalypse Explained 71)

[3] Because of this signification of "washings," when Aaron and his sons were consecrated to the priesthood:

Moses was commanded to wash them with water at the entrance of the tent, and thus to sanctify them (Exodus 29:4; 40:12; Leviticus 8:6);

for the priests represented the Lord in relation to Divine good, as kings represented Him in relation to Divine truth, consequently the priests represented also the Divine holiness which is pure without blemish. Aaron and his sons were inducted into this representation by the washing by Moses; therefore it is said that "thus they should be sanctified," although no sanctity was conferred upon them by the washing.

[4] It was therefore also commanded that:

Aaron and his sons should wash their hands and feet before entering into the tent of meeting, and before they came near to the altar to minister; and it is said that they were to do this that they die not; and that it should be to them a statute of an age (Exodus 30:18-21; 40:30, 31).

Also that Aaron should wash his flesh before he put on the garments of ministry (Leviticus 16:4, 24).

"Washing the hands and feet" signified the purification of the natural man, and "washing the flesh" the purification of the spiritual man. It was therefore commanded also:

That the Levites should be sanctified by being sprinkled with the water of expiation, and by causing a razor to pass over their flesh, and that they should wash their garments (Numbers 8:6, 7).

This was done to the Levites because they ministered in the external things of the church under Aaron and his sons, and the purification of the external things of the church was represented by the sprinkling of the water of expiation, by shaving the hairs of the flesh, and by washing the garments.

(Referenties: Exodus 40:30-32, 40:30-31; Numbers 8:6-7)

[5] Furthermore, all who were made unclean by touching unclean things also washed themselves and their garments, and were said to be made clean thereby, as:

Those who ate of the dead body of a clean beast, or of what was torn (Leviticus 17:15, 16).

One who touched the bed of one who had an issue, or sat upon the vessel that he sat on, or who touched his flesh (Leviticus 15:4-12).

It was also commanded that the leper, after his cleansing, should wash his garments, shave off his hair, and wash himself with water (Leviticus 14:8, 9).

Also that such vessels as had become unclean by the touch of the unclean, should be passed through water (Leviticus 11:32; besides other statutes).

He is much mistaken who supposes that those who washed their flesh or hands and feet, or garments, were cleansed and sanctified, that is, purified from their sins; for sins are not washed away or taken away by water as filth is, but they are washed away, that is, removed, by means of truths and a life according to them, and this alone was what was represented by the washings; for "waters" signify truths, and truths when there is life according to them, purify the man.

(Referenties: Leviticus 14:8-9, Leviticus 15:5-13, 17:15-16)

[6] That these external things contribute nothing to purification from evils and falsities, is clearly taught by the Lord in Matthew:

Woe unto you Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye cleanse the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first the inside of the cup and of the platter that the outside of them may become clean also (Matthew 23:25, 26).

Like things were taught by the Lord when the Jews and Pharisees rebuked His disciples for not washing their hands before eating, for He taught:

That by this a man is not rendered unclean, but by every evil that goeth forth from the heart (Matthew 15:1-2, 19-20; Mark 7:1-23; Luke 11:38, 39).

From this it can be seen that the Jews by their washings were never sanctified and cleansed from their spiritual defilements, which are the evils going forth from the heart, since these evils reside within; and in the world they have nothing in common with the filth that adheres to the body. It is said that "the inside of the cup and platter must be cleansed that the outside may become clean also;" for the outside with man cannot be cleansed until the inside is cleansed, for the outside is cleansed by means of the inside. "The cup and platter" signify the interiors and exteriors of man, which receive truth and good, for the cup is what contains wine, and the platter is what contains food, and "wine" signifies truth, and "food" has a similar signification as "bread," namely, good. This makes clear the signification in the spiritual sense of "cleanse first the inside of the cup and of the platter, that the outside may become clean also."

(Referenties: Luke 11:38-39; Matthew 15:11, 15:17-20, Matthew 23:25-26)

[7] What the Lord says here has a similar meaning as His washing the feet of the disciples, respecting which He thus said to Peter, in John:

He that hath bathed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is wholly clean (John 13:10).

"He that hath bathed" signifies one who is inwardly clean; and "needeth not save to wash his feet" signifies that then he must be cleansed outwardly, for "the feet" signify the external or natural man (see above, n. 69. More may be seen respecting this arcanum in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem 179, 181; and in Arcana Coelestia, where the following are made clear: For a man to be purified, both the internal or spiritual and the external or natural must be purified, and the external by means of the internal, n. 3868, 3870, 3872, 3876, 3877, 3882. The internal man is purified before the external, because the internal is in the light of heaven, and the external in the light of the world, n. 3321, 3325, 3469, 3493, 4353, 8746, 9325. The external or natural man is purified by the Lord through the internal or spiritual, n. 3286, 3288, 3321. A man is not purified until the external or natural man is also purified, n. 8742-8747, 9043, 9046, 9061, 9325, 9334. If the natural man is not purified the spiritual man is closed up, n. 6299; and in respect to the truths and goods of faith and love, it is as it were blind, n. 3493, 3969). The internal man is purified by knowing, understanding, and thinking the truths of the Word, and the external man by willing and doing them. This makes clear how the Lord's words to Peter must be understood, "He that hath bathed needeth not save to wash his feet;" likewise how the Lord's words to the Pharisees must be understood, "cleanse first the inside of the cup and of the platter, that the outside may become clean also."

(Referenties: Arcana Coelestia 3876-3877, 6299; The Apocalypse Explained 69)

[8] That the internal man is purified by truths which are of faith, and the external by a life according to them, is meant also by these words of the Lord:

Except one be born of water and of the spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God (John 3:5).

"Water" signifying the truths of faith, and "spirit" a life according to them.

[9] From this it can now be seen what "washing" signifies in the following passages. In Ezekiel:

I washed thee with waters; yea, I rinsed away thy bloods from upon thee, and I anointed thee with oil (Ezekiel 16:9).

This was said of Jerusalem, by which the church is signified; its purification from falsities and from evils is signified by "I washed thee with waters; yea, I rinsed away thy bloods from upon thee," "to wash with waters" signifying to purify the church by truths, and "to rinse away the bloods" signifying purification from falsities and evils. To imbue the church with the good of love is signified by "I anointed thee with oil," "oil" meaning the good of love.

[10] In Isaiah:

When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have washed away the bloods of Jerusalem out of the midst thereof, in the spirit of judgment, and in the spirit of cleansing (Isaiah 4:4).

"To wash away the filth of the daughters of Zion" signifies to purify the affections of those who are of a celestial church from the evils of love of self, "filth" meaning the evil of the love of self," "daughters" the affection, and "Zion" the church that is in love to the Lord, which is therefore called a celestial church; "to wash away the bloods of Jerusalem" signifies to purify the same affections from the falsities of evil, "bloods" meaning the falsities of evil; "in the spirit of judgment and in the spirit of cleansing" signifies by means of the understanding of truth and the affection of truth, "spirit" meaning the Divine truth proceeding from the Lord, "the spirit of judgment" the understanding of truth therefrom, and "the spirit of cleansing" the spiritual affection of truth, for that is what cleanses.

[11] In Job:

If I shall wash myself in waters of snow, and cleanse my hands with soap, yet wilt thou plunge me into the pit, and mine own garments shall abhor me (Acts of the Apostles 9:30, 31).

This means that if one attempts to purify himself by his own efforts, although by means of truths and goods that are or that appear to be genuine, he will yet lead himself into falsities; "to wash oneself" means to purify oneself; "waters of snow" mean truths that are or that appear to be genuine; "soap" means the good from which they come, and "the pit" falsity. That from this come truths falsified is meant by "mine own garments shall abhor me;" "garments" meaning truths, which are said "to abhor one" when they are falsified, and this is done when man from self-intelligence speculates and draws conclusions.

(Referenties: Acts of the Apostles 9:30-31; Job 9:30-31)

[12] In Moses:

He washed his vesture in wine, and his covering in the blood of grapes (Genesis 49:11).

This is said of Judah, by whom is here meant the Lord in relation to Divine truth; that He altogether purified this in His Human, when He was in the world, is signified by "he washed his vesture in wine, and his covering in the blood of grapes," "vesture" and "covering" signifying His Human, and "wine" and "the blood of grapes" Divine truth. (This may be seen explained in Arcana Coelestia 6377, 6378.)

(Referenties: Arcana Coelestia 6377-6378)

[13] That "to wash" signifies to purify from falsities and evils is clearly evident in Isaiah:

Wash you, make you pure; put away the evil of your doings from before Mine eyes; cease to do evil (Isaiah 1:16).

Because "to wash" signifies to put away falsities and evils, it is added, "put away the evil of your doings from before Mine eyes; cease to do evil."

[14] In Jeremiah:

Wash thine heart from wickedness, O Jerusalem, that thou mayest be saved. How long shall the thoughts of thine iniquity lodge in the midst of thee? (Jeremiah 4:14).

This has a similar signification. In David:

Wash me from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. Thou shalt purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Thou shalt wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow (Psalms 51:2, 7).

Here "to wash" plainly means to purify from falsities and evils, for it is said, "Wash me from iniquity, and cleanse me from sin," and afterwards, "Thou shalt wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow;" "to wash from iniquity" means from falsities, and "from sin" means from evils, for "iniquity" is predicated of falsities, and "sin" of evils; and because the water of expiation was prepared from hyssop, it is said, "Thou shalt purge me with hyssop and I shall be clean. "

[15] In Jeremiah:

Although thou shalt wash thee with niter and take thee 2 much soap, thine iniquity shall still retain its spots before Me (Jeremiah 2:22).

Here, too, it is clear that washings only represented and thence signified spiritual washings, which are purifications from falsities and evils, for it is said, "Although thou shalt wash thee with niter, and take thee much soap, thine iniquity shall still retain its spots."

[16] Thus also in David:

In vain have I cleansed my heart, and washed my hands in innocence. All the day have I been plagued, and in the mornings was my reproof (Psalms 73:13, 14).

"To wash the hands in innocence" means to bear witness that one is innocent and pure from evils and falsities; for washing the hands was a testification of innocence; as can be seen also from the fact that:

Pilate washed his hands and said, I am innocent of the blood of this righteous person (Matthew 27:24).

(Referenties: Psalms 73:13-14)

[17] Because "washings" signified purifications from falsities and evils, and "one blind" signified those who do not see truths, and are therefore in falsities:

The Lord told the blind man whose eyes He anointed with clay made with spittle, to wash himself in the pool of Siloam, and when he had washed himself he came seeing (John 9:6, 7, 11, 15).

The "blind man" here represented those who can see nothing of truth because they are sensual, and see only those things that appear before the external senses, from which come fallacies instead of truths, and to the confirmation of these they apply the sense of the letter of the Word; "the clay made of spittle" signifies sensual truth, such as the Word contains for such persons; "the waters of the lake or pool of Siloam" signify the truths of the Word, for all things, even to the waters in Jerusalem were significative; and "to wash" signifies to purify from fallacies, which in themselves are falsities. From this it can be seen what these things signify in series; for all the miracles and works of the Lord when He was in the world signified Divine celestial and Divine spiritual things, that is, such things as pertain to heaven and the church, and this because they were Divine, and the Divine always operates in ultimates from first things, and thus in fullness; ultimates are such as appear before the eyes in the world. This is why the Lord spoke and the Word was written by means of such things in nature as correspond.

(Referenties: John 9:6-7)

[18] It is similar with the miracle performed on Naaman the leper by command of Elisha, which is thus described in the second book of Kings:

Naaman of Syria, being affected with leprosy, was commanded by a messenger from Elisha to wash himself seven times in the Jordan, and his flesh would come again and he would be clean. At length Naaman went down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan; and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little lad, and he was clean (2 Kings 5:10, 14).

"Naaman a leper of Syria" represented and signified those who falsify the knowledges of truth and good from the Word, for "leprosy" signifies falsifications, and "Syria" the knowledges of truth and good. "The waters of Jordan" signified the truths that introduce into the church, which are the knowledges of truth and good from the Word, for the river Jordan was the first boundary across which the land of Canaan was entered, and "the land of Canaan" signified the church; this is why "the waters of Jordan" signified introductory truths, which are the first knowledges of truth and good from the Word. Because of this signification of "the waters of Jordan," Naaman was commanded to wash himself in them seven times, which signified purification from falsified truths; "seven times" signifies fully, and is predicated of things holy, such as truths Divine are. Because "seven times" has this signification, it is said that "his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little lad," the flesh coming again signifying spiritual life, such as those have who are regenerated through Divine truths.

[19] Because "the waters of Jordan" signified the truths that introduce into the church, which are the knowledges of truth and good from the Word, and "washing" therein signified purification from falsities, and consequent reformation and regeneration by the Lord, therefore baptism was instituted, which was first performed in Jordan by John (Matthew 3:11-16; Mark 1:4-13). This rite signified initiation into the knowledges from the Word respecting the Lord, His coming, and salvation by Him; and as man is reformed and regenerated by the Lord by means of truths from the Word, baptism was commanded by the Lord (Matthew 28:19); for it is by means of truths from the Word that man is reformed and regenerated, and it is the Lord who reforms and regenerates. (Respecting this more may be seen in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem 202-209.)

[20] It was said by John:

That he baptized with water; but that the Lord would baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire (Luke 3:16; John 1:33).

This means that John only inaugurated them into knowledges from the Word respecting the Lord, and thus prepared them to receive Him, but that the Lord Himself regenerates man by means of Divine truth and Divine good proceeding from Him; for John represented the like as Elijah, namely, the Word; "the waters" with which John baptized signified introductory truths, which are knowledges from the Word respecting the Lord; "the Holy Spirit" signifies Divine truth proceeding from the Lord; and "fire" signifies Divine good proceeding from Him; and "baptism" signifies regeneration by the Lord by means of Divine truths from the Word.

[21] Washings were instituted in the ancient churches, and afterwards baptisms in their place, which nevertheless are only representative and significative rites, in order that heaven might be conjoined with the human race, and in particular with the man of the church; for heaven is conjoined to man when man is in ultimates, that is, in such things as are in the world in regard to his natural man, while he is in such things as are in heaven in regard to his spiritual man; in no other way is conjunction possible. This is why baptism was instituted; also the holy supper; likewise why the Word was written by means of such things as are in the world, while there is in it a spiritual sense, containing such things as are in heaven, that is, that the sense of the letter of the Word is natural, while in it there is a spiritual sense. (That by means of this sense the Word conjoins the angels of heaven with the men of the church, may be seen in the work on Heaven and Hell 303-310; and in the small work on The White Horse from beginning to end. That the holy supper likewise conjoins, see in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem 210-222, and the same is true of baptism.) But he is much mistaken who believes that baptism contributes anything to a man's salvation unless he is at the same time in the truths of the church and in a life according to them; for baptism is an external thing, which without an internal contributes nothing to salvation, but it does contribute when the external is conjoined to an internal. The internal of baptism is, that by means of truths from the Word and a life according to them, falsities and evils may be removed by the Lord, and thus man be regenerated, as the Lord teaches (Matthew 23:26, 27), as explained above in this article.


1.  Photolithograph has "them."

2.  Photolithograph has "he take thee."


(Referenties: Leviticus 15:5-13; Matthew 15:11, Matthew 15:17-20, Matthew 23:25-26, 23:26-27; Revelation 7:14)

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Apocalypse Explained 470, 637, 717, 951

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 Elisha and Naaman
A New Church Bible story explanation for teaching Sunday school. Includes lesson materials for Primary (3-8 years), Junior (9-11 years), Intermediate (12-14 years), Senior (15-17 years) and Adults.
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 John the Baptist
Compare the birth of John the Baptist with the birth of Jesus Christ. What do the births of these men mean in our lives?
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